So you have a thesis or dissertation to do and you have no idea how to get started. This is likely a great time to just think about the project and make a plan for how you will get it done. Think about what your project will need and how you will get it. You need to read over guidelines to get a basic idea of what is expected. From here you may get a few ideas on what your next move should be. The following points are common actions students complete before getting started on their thesis or dissertation.
Find example dissertations and thesis papers on your subject matter. This can give ideas on what to write about. You can get insight on how to create a good paper based on what you come across. Some examples you may find on school websites that were top papers from the class. Note topic selection, detail organization and overall structure. Write down ideas you get as you come across them to refer to later.
After reading examples you may be ready to start thinking about a topic. You can brainstorm to come up with ideas. This can help you break down general subject matter into smaller concepts you can work with. Your ideas can be anything from a couple of words to phrases and sentences. Anything that pops into your head you can write down. Go back over ideas and select something you want to research further.
When you have an idea for your topic you can make an outline. This allows you to break up your paper into sections your final paper is required to have. For each section you will have a supporting point or something you want to discuss. This can help you form your thesis statement or hypothesis. This is also a great time to make a list of references you will need to use for your project.
Think about your deadline and when you would like to have your final draft completed. Your outline can help you divide the work into smaller tasks. You can work on parts each day until it is finished. Try to develop a regular schedule that will help you stay on track with your deadline.
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